Monday, May 23, 2005

Slouching Towards the Grace of Tragedy

Ok, maybe even with as nice a spring as it's been around here, I've just gotten fed up with being the Dalai Lawrence, all nice and earnest and chipper in the face of the current load of shit hitting the fan. I don't know. I'm not dwelling on the news much these days, at least not overtly. Hell, I'm not even reading much news at all. But I've been crabby for a few weeks. A mid-May / summer's-on-its-way kinda thing? A mid-life thing? A male andro/menopausal thing?

We might think all the crab-inducing news is just white noise (like the heat of summer), but no, it is there. We can hear it, and we can feel it even when we're not listening to it or even for it. Unless we've got dumbshit blinders on (all the rage these days, by the way, praise the lord and pass the hot steamin' horsehockey), it's there, wearing us down, making us tired of being alive in the ways we're alive, "hanging in there." Hanging in there has, as we know, never been enough to prevail, never enough to master pride in ourselves. That white noise (from the basement of the White House?) comes at a profound price, yes.

Regarding the hopes we share for a political paradigm shift (YES! Away from the corporate cash cows hiding behind the Bush/bin Laden shootout and TOWARD some genuine international consensus building), I wrote to my friend Jack today:

Yes Jack, I too am hoping that the EU will lead the way toward more cooperative alliances world-wide [leading to the comeuppance of this bully empire]. US carnivorous capitalism out, Eurosocial democracy in.

Funny (or not so funny) thing, I am rather disgusted with the world, as usual, but I seem to internalize it more, even with my blog to vent, and so it comes out as... depression, not more riled emotions. Not that I am functioning worth a damn or much at all.

I tell ya, I crave absurdity, that's what I crave - it seems the best antidote to the rot we see. Laughs lighten the LOAD.

Lovely days we've had out here in the hills, a long spring and just now the parched air of summer, later than usual. So I piddle around the house and yard like a bumbling, somewhat senile retiree - guess it goes with the territory [in this retiree town].

Living on fumes (and a few laughs), Lorenzo

And later I wrote:

I suppose I could complain but don't as much - or at least not as pointedly as in the old days - just an amorphous sense of forlornness, I suppose...

As for intellectually, I could use some more stimulation. And I would say the closest I am getting these days is (dare I say this?) in my own mind. It's not exactly that am challenging myself more than anyone else is - though a therapist might say I am 'being too hard on myself' - but that I feel I've got to turn to books for any original thoughts - the authors' or mine. Most of our acquaintances are just passing along headlines or dogma. So it's gotten to be when I punch "Publish [blog] Post" most days, it is a highlight of my day - or night as the case may be and often is, racing my 2 AM deadline (midnight PDT). It is my thread - pretty feeble for "a lifeline".

Before and beyond the blog, dammit, I'm just sort of aimless, shuffling around as if I were not much different from that rather far gone senior citizen...." Maybe I'd better UP my meds!


Seems a little of Yeats' "The Second Coming" is in order:

"...The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

Me, shuffling, slouching, with my righteously typed out but otherwise closeted convictions, lately it seems I see myself in my own shadows as if looking at myself as a young man grown old, as the Star Child sees the old man at the end of "2001: A Space Odyssey." Where did the time go? Where did hope implode? Where did we shuffle away from the light of (was it) a new dawn or an old dusk? What wary and wimpy beast slouches towards the shadows to rasp in the stale air - the fumes of empire?


Longtime friend Jack, a mathematician, astrophysicist and philosopher, wrote back this afternoon:

Can't really complain, at least on the intellectual front. I'm battling my usual demons as well, trying to translate the amorphous correlations of my dopamine deficient brain into concrete mathematical relationships. I'm closer than I've ever been though.

While politics and political advocacy are certainly important, they are not the be-all and end-all of existence. Throughout the gaudy tapestry that is the history of Mankind in all its vainglorious and superfluous pursuits is woven - in a much finer thread - the heroic tale of those few souls who have sought a deeper understanding of the world of which we are a part. Why not take a break from the endless rehashing of political polemics and read something like "The Elegant Universe" [Brain Greene's very popular and apparently inspiring book about the big picture of matter]? Not only would it give you something to talk about with your [expansively enlightened friends], but you might discover for yourself the truth of Steven Weinberg's conclusion to "The First Three Minutes":

"The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that
lifts human life a little above the level of farce and gives it some of the
grace of tragedy."


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